Evil mum butchered partner and boiled his head in a pot to feed corpse to kids

Before he left work, John Price told colleagues if he didn't turn up the next day, it would be because his girlfriend had killed him.

He didn't show. When police went to his house, the scene they found almost defied belief.

He had been stabbed 37 times, hung up on a meathook, skinned, butchered and then decapitated.

Steaks made from his buttocks had been cooked and then served up on plates with vegetables. She had even gone to the trouble of making gravy. Each plate on the dining table had the name of one of his children next to it.

His head was still bubbling in a pot on the stove. His killer, Katherine Knight, 44, lay asleep on the couch.

And perhaps the most surprising part of the tale was it had taken her so long to actually kill someone. Her entire life had been like something out of a horror novel.

Sexually abused as a young child – and frequently seeing her mum raped and beaten up by her partner – the only person Knight was close to was her uncle, who then committed suicide. From then on she claimed his ghost visited her.

After leaving school she found what she called her "dream job" – cutting up offal in an abattoir. For the rest of her life she slept with her butchers knives hung over her bed so that they "would always be handy if I needed them".

Her first husband was David Kellett, who she liked to join in bar fights.

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At the wedding ceremony her mother told him "You better watch this one or she'll f**** kill you. Stir her up the wrong way or do the wrong thing and you're f****, don't ever think of cheating on her, she'll f**** kill you. She's got a screw loose somewhere."

On their wedding night they had sex three times. Kellett woke up to find his new bride strangling him because he hadn't been able to perform a fourth time.

Things got worse. After he arrived home late one night she hit him over the head with a frying pan, fracturing his skull. After their first child Melissa was born Kellett fled. Knight was treated in hospital for postnatal depression. When she left she placed the two month old baby on a railway line, got an axe, went into town and threatened to kill people. Thankfully, a man found the baby minutes before a train was due.

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Knight was arrested and taken to hospital but amazingly, was allowed to leave the next day.

Not long after she slashed a woman in the face with a knife and demanded she drive her to Queensland to find her absent hubbie. When the women fled at a service station, Knight took a boy hostage but was eventually disarmed by officers wielding brooms. She was taken to psychiatric hospital and eventually released.

Her next partner watched her kill his eight week old puppy by slitting its throat after a row. The relationship didn't last.

The next man in her life was miner John Price. The course of love did not run smooth, they had numerous fall outs and in 2000 Knight eventually stabbed him in the chest. She persuaded him not to press charges, but told a relative “I am going to kill Pricey and I am going to get away with it cause I’ll make out I’m mad”.

Eventually he kicked her out of his house and took out a restraining order. Then one day, knowing Knight was visiting him, complete with some new black lingerie, he told colleagues what would have happened if he did not turn up for work.

That night, after they had sex, Knight put her butchery skills to work. During the initial attack he managed to make it part way out of the house, but she dragged him back in. Parts of an unfinished meal were found on the back lawn. It is believed Knight had tried to eat it but didn't find Price's remains to her taste.

At her trial Knight – who was judged by experts to be sane – pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life imprisonment with her papers marked "never to be released", the first time this had even been ordered for a woman in Australian history. She remains in jail to this day.

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